Refugee council decries lack of accommodation in northern Greece


Dozens of newly arrived migrants and refugees in northern Greece are living in a makeshift camp near Thessaloniki's old railway station, where they have no access to basic facilities and services, the European Council on Refugees and Exiles said in a statement on Friday.

The makeshift camp has emerged as a result of an accommodation shortage after the official Diavata reception center exceeded capacity amid a spike in arrivals over the Greek-Turkish land border in recent months.

The new arrivals are “left destitute” and having to “resort to informal accommodation under squalid conditions, without shelter from winter temperatures,” the council said. It added that the residents of the makeshift camp are also having to travel 8 kilometers to Diavata to use the bathing facilities at the camp there.

Conditions, however, are are also substandard at the camp, prompting several protests by residents rendered desperate by shortages in sanitation facilities, proper accommodation, healthcare and security.